Friday, 23 August 2013

Broccoli & Tortellini Salad

This summery salad couldn't be easier, thanks to frozen cheese tortellini, which also makes it suitable to be a full meal in itself - 2 servings in that case. If you make it part of a larger meal, it will stretch to 4 or maybe even 6 in a pinch. But don't count on it; this is popular!

I've made this later in the year with imported basil and dried tomatoes; 1/4 cup chopped dried tomatoes soaked in 1/4 cup of boiling water and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Toss them into the salad, along with any leftover soaking liquid. Still, it's better to make it now with squeaky-fresh local basil and ripe, juicy tomatoes.  

2 to 4 servings
30 minutes prep time

 Make the Salad:
250 grams (1/2 pound) frozen cheese tortellini
1 large head of broccoli
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup minced fresh basil leaves

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil, and cook the tortellini according to the package instructions, or perhaps a minute or two longer. While the water boils and the tortellini cooks, cut the stem from the broccoli and reserve it for some other use. Chop the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Wash and halve (or quarter, if they are large) the cherry tomatoes. Wash and mince the basil leaves.

When the tortellini has only 2 or 3 minutes left to cook, add the broccoli - cover the pan to bring it back up to a boil as sonn as possible. However, the broccoli only needs to be blanched more than cooked through. Be sure the tortellini is well done though, before you drain it. Rinse the tortellini and broccoli in cold water until completely cool then drain well.

Put the well-drained tortellini and broccoli in a large salad bowl and mix in the cherry tomatoes and basil.

Make the Dressing & Finish the Salad:
1/4 cup sunflower seed OR olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
the juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated old Cheddar or other cheese of your choice

Whisk together the sunflower seed or olive oil, the mustard, and the lemon juice, and toss the dressing into the salad. Let it all rest together for 20 minutes to half an  hour. Just before serving, mix in about 3/4 of the grated cheese, then sprinkle the remainder over the top.

Last year at this time I was Making Meringues

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